Monday, December 17, 2012

500gb Western Digital Velociraptor:A $79 Dollar Steal That Packs a Serious Punch


During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events many great deals were to be had and few matched or exceeded this particular deal which netted me a latest generation 500gb Western Digital Velociraptor for only $79.99 and with free shipping included.This same drive sells for a regular price of $149.99 and shipping costs at deal was so good I had to buy it and considering I own several of the 1tb versions of this drive I knew I wasn't making a mistake and wouldn't be disappointed if the 1tb version is an indicator.Today I'm going to test the performance of the 500gb model against it's bigger 1tb sibling and see where it's performance stands.

This drive has all of the same features of the 1 terabyte model which I reviewed and to get a more in depth look at the latest generation raptor I suggest you look at my review of the 1tb velociraptor here.The only difference with this drive is that it features two platters and two less read/write heads.I will test this drive on a SATA III port with AHCI enabled and  with the latest Intel Rapid Storage driver installed.Drive will be formatted in NTFS and given a 512 byte allocation unit size.Drive will be tested free of data.Now lets get on to the comparison testing.

Access times aren't really appreciated by many.Most think that such measurements are moot and not perceivable in desktop usage.I beg to differ having used a 3tb Western Digital RED for hours and then immediately using my raptors I notice and absolutely perceive the quicker disk access the Velociraptors offer.The RED hard drive has an access time of about 22 ms compared to the 6 ms of the Velociraptors.That's about 4 times greater than the raptors access time.Such large differences should be noticeable IMO.In this test the 500gb raptor beats the 1tb by a hair in both read and write access times.More or less thanks to the smaller physical capacity.A 6 millisecond score is about has quick as your going to get in hard drives.You'd have to go ssd for much lower. 

The 500gb appears to take a back seat to the 1tb model in all but the minimum read measurement.Again likely due to the smaller capacity and fewer data tracks to work with.Even still pulling off a minimum read of 118 mb/s trumps older generation Caviar Black hard drives maximum read scores.

Again it looks like the 500gb takes a back seat in all but the minimum score.Still posting a minimum write of 117 mb/s, average of 148 mb/s and a maximum of 172 mb/s this drive may not beat the 1tb model but it nearly beats all other hard drives save for The 3tb Seagate Barracuda with it's 1tb disk platters.


Performance of the 500gb Western Digital Velociraptor is stellar to say the least.However it isn't as explosive as the 1 terabyte model which has shown reads and writes surpassing 200 mb/s.It appears that Western Digital has tweaked or tuned their lower capacity raptors for less performance.There is nothing wrong with WD doing so to make the higher priced 1tb model a justifiable purchase.In my usage I found the 500gb model to be quieter than the 1tb model.For those that admire quiet hard drives that should be welcome news.Like the larger model I highly recommend the 500gb version.If you see any of these drives at a crazy low price snap them up immediately you won't regret it.

  • Fast
  • Low access times
  • Quieter than the larger model
  • 5-year warranty
  • Built in features for reliability and performance
  • Not as fast as the 1tb model

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